The Alienist. Review and Discussion Space. Episode Six

The Alienist is based on a 1994 book by historian Caleb Carr. It takes place during the Gilded Age of American Society in New York City, and features historical figures from the era. TNT has produced a ten episode miniseries based on the book, starring Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds and Captain America: Civil War) as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds and Man on Fire) as Sara Howard, and Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast and The Hobbit) as John Moore.

Title: “Ascension”

Directed by: Paco Cabezas

Synopsis: A pale horse is found in the street. The team plan to stake out the disorderly houses, with Stevie as bait. The men still try to keep Sara from participating, thinking to keep her safe. Van Bergen is in hiding, with plans to send him to Argentina.

John looks after Joseph and warns him to be careful that evening to keep his windows locked. Stevie makes his way through the disorderly houses disguised as a prostitute, fending off a john. Marcus sees a suspect on the roof and chases him down, but it’s a priest. The holy day passes and the killer doesn’t strike.

John attends a charity gala and auction for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children with his grandmother. J. P. Morgan confronts Roosevelt at the gala, warning him to stay away from the Van Bergens. Roosevelt informs him that Van Bergen is leaving the country but Kreisler insists on continuing the investigation.

Sara meets John after the auction, where he bought a typewriter. John has quit drinking. Sara found a clipping about young Kreisler playing the piano, suggesting that he wasn’t born with a congenital defect like he always claimed. Kreisler and Mary grow closer.

On Pentecost, they stake out the houses again. Van Bergen ventures out and Connor shadows him. They chase him to the top of the bridge where Connor shoots and kills him.

Marcus meets another boy named Roise and tells her a joke.The killer approaches Stevie, offering to take him away. John and Marcus chase after the killer, but he eludes them Sara confronts Kreisler about his lie, suggesting that he has a bias. Kreisler slaps her. John places Stevie in the room for his safety. Lucius runs to help, leaving Cyrus alone. Cyrus is attacked and they see the room next door has been broken into.

Rosie’s body is found at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Historical characters:

  • The 400 The elite of New York society was called the 400 because that was the number of people who could fit in Mrs. Astor’s ballroom

Historical Locations

  • Statue of Liberty The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.

Changes from the book: Stevie was never used as bait. The Kreislers were from Hungary, not Germany. John tells Sara about Kreisler’s arm, not the other way around. Kreisler would never strike Sara. Once again the Van Bergen plot is not in the books.